tv Christian World News TLN July 2, 2013 2:00am-2:31am PDT
>> wendy: today on christian world news, u.s. president obama visits africa, including tanzania, where churches are under attack from a growing islamist threat. plus, the u.s. supreme court opens the door for gay marriage in america. we'll take a look at the fallout and where we go from here. and meet the woman who is standing up to iran's mullahs, naghmeh abedini tells us about the fight to free her husband from a tehran jail.
♪ and welcome, everyone, to christian world news. i'm wendy griffith. george thomas is on vacation. u.s. president obama is reaching out to africans this week, tige touring senegal and south africa, where he is meeting with the country's business leaders. the christians are hoping obama will speak out against increased acts of persecution against them. gary lane brings us this look at some recent incidents. >> reporter: the allure of beautiful beaches and tranquil ocean waters draw 100,000 tourists to the i'll of zanzabar each year. but this east african island, influenced by islamist extremism has a troubling past. several hundred years ago, when arab traders first came to this island, they were quick to enslave the local
population. fast forward to 2013, there are no longer slaves here, but today christians are suffering. churches have been attacked, and christian leaders threatened. last february, a catholic priest was killed outside this church. >> i heard a crowd of people chanting "allah." they destroyed the church. >> reporter: in may 2012, this bishop helped church members his saturday evening prayer meeting as an angry mob approached. he remained behind in a church office. >> they were saying that he used to come here, and look after him. they said we don't want christianity in zanzabar. >> reporter: the muslim extremists never found bishop dixon, but they destroyed his car and set fire to chairs and church equipment inside the
building. >> they opposed the church. they opposed the message of christ. and jesus is doing signs and wonders, and moses conveyed christianity. they don't want this. >> reporter: and it is not only happen zanzabar, but church attacks have spread to the tanzania mainland, like this one that killed three people and injured at least a dozen others in the town of aleutiana. he says extremes are now waging jihad and africa countries that have a high percentage of christians. >> it is everywhere. now in tanzania, which earlier you never thought of being a radical nation. >> reporter: church leaders say the attacks have actually strengthened the body of christ. as for bishop dixon's church, services resumed after repairs were made. he encourages christians to remain focused on god. >> he is faithful.
we will endure and we will pass through this and become victorious. and many good things are happening. i don't want people to cry. i want them to rejoice. >> reporter: gary lane, cbn news, zanzarbar. >> opponents are rejecting morsi call. morsi admitted he has made mistakes and promises to give minorities more say in governoring. but critics say it is too little too late. they say he has empowered ra radical islamists and tried to grab more power. more protests are expected this weekend. joining us now is nagdi callil of coptic solidarity.
morsmorsi says he needs more time tor change. >> it is not a matter of time. it is a matter of direction. he went to the wrong direction. he was elected one year ago, and he promised he would be the president of all egyptians, but president morsi has used every opportunity to turn egypt into an islamic and islamist state. so he doesn't believe in an egyptian nation. he believes in an islamic state. he only take care of his people, the muslim brotherhood group. so it is not a matter of time. it is a matter of direction. he went in the wrong direction, to the islamic state. >> wendy: you think his actions definitely don't match his words then? >> sure. sure. he said many things,
affected many lives. because he promised to take care of all egyptians, including coptic christians, but in his era, one year 20 churches -- 20 churches were burned or attacked. and only one permit to rebuild the church. one permit only. mr. morsi is a president of muslim brotherhood group only, not for ol egyptians. >> wendy: are you saying things are a lot worse for christians under morsi than they were under mubarak? >> sure. sure. from 2011 to now, a lot of attacks against coptics in
egypt. the church properties were hijacked, and kidnappings everywhere. a lot of troubles under the muslim brotherhood er era. we expect more and more under islamic rule. this is islamic rule to discriminate and persecute non-muslims. >> wendy: do you think that the demonstrations planned on his one-year anniversary will turn violent? and how will the military respond? >> i think, sure. it is a matter of time that egypt will go through civil war because the muslim brotherhood and other islamists only believe in power and violence. so they don't keep silent -- they don't believe in peaceful demonstrations, so they will attack the peaceful demonstrations in
all of the squares in egypt. egypt is in a crisis, and is really divided into two groups, two rival groups, like muslim brotherhood and islamists on the far side, and the other egyptians on the other side. the muslim brotherhood presents less than 1% of egyptians, but 99% on the other side is the muslim brotherhood, morsi rules. >> wendy: all right. monte, we appreciate so much your insights. thanks so much for joining us. in other news, human rights leaders called on the u.s. government to do more to protect syria's minority christian community. speaking before congress, the hudson institute anita shay suggested that the 2,000-year-old christian community is under threat of
extinction. >> christians are the targets of an ethno religious cleansing. in addition, they have lost the protection of the assad government, making them easy prey for criminals who's affiliations are not always clear. >> wendy: shay detailed recent kidnappings and murders of christians and their church leaders. and she also criticized a u.s. state department report for its, quote,"gross understatement that syrian christians are only facing harassment and intolerance." muslim radicals in nigeria have murdered a christian pastor. the reverend jacob quisa was retired from the church of christ in nigeria. last week islamists hunted him down. the muslims ordered the pastor to renounce his christian faith and convert to islam. when he refused, they slashed his throat. and the extremists also torched at least four churches in that area. coming up, the u.s. supreme court issues two rulings on
gay marriage. our look at what it means for this biblical institution in america. >> wendy: here in the u.s., the nation's highest court this week issued two important rulings on gay marriage. while the court did not make same-sex marriage a fundamental right, it did make gay spouses eligible for federal benefits, and it cleared the way for gay marriage in the state of california. as paul strand reports, that means the battle over gay marriage in america is far from over. >> reporter: gay individuals and groups, as well as their lawyers, who fought against doma and proposition 8, say the next step is to battle nationwide for same-sex marriage everywhere. >> we cannot forget our brothers and sisters that are in states that still discriminate against them. >> within five years, we'll bring marriage equality to all 50 states. >> reporter: 40% of the population of the united
states is covered by marriage equality. >> reporter: the lawyers battling proposition 8 say it is effectively dead because the justices said those defending it had no standing. >> they said they had no concrete injury. they cannot point to anything that harms them because these two loving couples, and couples like them throughout california, are now going to be able to get married. >> reporter: they say at most, the high court has thrown california and gay marriage into somewhat of a legal limbo. >> we remain committed to the continued enforcement of proposition 8, until there is a statewide order saying otherwise. >> reporter: even as it wiped doma out, the court doesn't specifically say the states have to legalize gay marriage. supporters of traditional marriage certainly have a beef with what the supreme court has done here. they're saying how can five justices decide these
crucial questions about the legislators in 38 states have decided differently. one of the biggest problems with gay marriage is in most states where it has become legal, christians who stand up too clearly for traditional marriage end up getting bashed, sometimes sued. could that now happen nationwide with doma's defeat. >> now that the majority said that laws defining marriage between one man and woman are not supported by any rational basis, that they are driven by either ignorance or hostility, i fear we'll see a flood of lawsuits. >> reporter: the reverend says believers need to get ready. >> the script is already written, that christians are mean, narrow-minded, ugly people. that's the stereotype. we have to do what we can to defeat that stereotype. >> reporter: all sides on both issues say what the court has done here is important, but it certainly does not decide the question
>> wendy: one year ago naghmeh abedini said good-bye to her husband, saeed, as he set off on a trip. she never dreamed that 12 months later she would be in the middle of a fight for his freedom and his life. recently i spoke with naghmeh about her battle with the government of iran on cbn's "700 club." but first here is a look at what she and her family have been through in the past year. naghmeh abedini is living a nightmare. last july her husband, american pastor saeed abedini, was in iran to help establish an orphanage when he was arrested by iranian authorities. then in january, he was sentenced to eight years in
iran's infamous evan prison. his crime? preaching the gospel. saeed has endured physical and psychological abuse and has been denied medical treatment. naghmeh says at times the strain over the past 12 months has seemed unbearable for her and her two young children. the american center for law and adjustment has been fighting for saeed's freedom. naghmeh believes through prayer it will be god, not the government, who will free her husband. tell us the latest on your husband. has anybody seen him, and how is he holding up? >> his family gets to see him every week. so they saw him this week, and he was doing okay. he has had some beatings, and so he still has issues with his internal bleeding. he is much better, but there are still pains, and we're still hoping to get him treated. >> wendy: well, iran has a
new president, president rohani. is this good news for your husband, or will it factor in at all? >> at the same day he was elected, there was a christian a few years in prison -- above rohani is the supreme leader, who really controls everything, and his policy towards christianity has always been the same, that they see it as a threat to their national security. and i don't see much of a change. i hope they try to present -- try to bring more freedom for the christians and release saeed, but -- >> wendy: but right now you don't think it will make much of a difference? >> i don't think it will make much of a difference. >> wendy: naghmeh, you were born in iran to muslim parents -- how did you become a christian? >> god's grace. i was always seeking him. i grew up when i was very young in iran, and there was a war and there were bombs, and it was a war with iran
and iraq. that made me think about who is god, where is he? i tried to find him through islam. and at the young age, 8 or 9. and when i came to the states, my brother had a vision of christ, and he said, i'm the way, the truth, and the life. >> wendy: and you were young? >> yeah. we were 8 or 9. and jesus said -- and he felt such a strong love. and when he saw that vision, he came to me and he told me, and he was a changed person. >> wendy: you got saved based on your brother's dream about jesus? >> but we're twins, so we're so close. i just saw he was so shaken. and so i accepted christ at that age -- >> wendy: talk about child-like faith. >> it has been an amazing journey. >> wendy: naghmeh, exactly what was he doing when he was arrested last summer? >> he was working on an orphanage that the government approved. he was working with the government -- we started on
the orphanage since 2009, and the kids and i had gone with him in 2011 and stayed there a few months. >> wendy: he was there under government approval? >> they had approved it, and he was working with them. >> wendy: you have two young children. how are they coping? i know they must be missing their dad terribly? >> it has been hard. recently i shared a video on my facebook that shows jacob crying, saying jesus, i love you, bring daddy home. they sent out balloons and messages to jesus saying, bring him home. child-like faith they prayed, and sometimes they wake up and they had a dream, and they look around, and they say, is daddy home yet? and i say, no, we have just got to wait. i try to speak to them about the bible about patience. >> wendy: but you believe he will come home? >> i do. you know, i've had to say i believe god is going to deliver. but even if he doesn't, he
is still a good god. i've had to really lay it at the alter. i've learned to not control situations or push god for a certain outcome and just to let go and say, god, you are a good god. you've been so gracious and kind to us during this time. and whatever the outcome, i do hope he is going to come home, but whatever the outcome, god is still god. >> wendy: you have been so strong for your kids, but you've been strong in general. you've been on every tv show, in front of of congress, and you've been before the u.n., working tirelessly to educate people and let them know what is happening to your husband. where do you get the strength? >> from christ. i was a crumbling mess. and i found connection to the vine. and the bible says, you know, when we find that connection, the fruit comes. i have to say one of the highlights -- it has been a year since i physically held my husband and said good-bye. we said good-bye on june 22,
2012, and i said a quick good-bye and said see you in a few weeks. but speaking before the u.n., i got to share about christ. i got to say saeed is in prison because he believes jesus christ died so whoever believes in him can be reconciled with him. and as i was speaking, it was being translated into other languages, and they got to hear. i know the lord has given me strength to fight for my husband, but also he has given me a platform to share his gospel. the u.n. might have never had this straightforward message about the gospel. and they were talking about peace and bringing world peace. and i got to share that this is the only way. and in the end of the message, i said this is the god of peace you're all looking for. so it has been amazing the platform god has given me to fight for my husband, but also really to share the gospel, which is what this
world needs. our world is getting darker and darker. >> wendy: naghmeh, you are a brave person. we are standing with you in prayer believing that sa e saeed is coming home sooner rather than later. you can join the fight to free saeed through your prayers and to sign a petition on our website, cbnnews.com. we'll be right back.
>> wendy: finally this week, god-fearing dar dare-devil nik wallenda took a walk over the george near the grand canyon. he did it without a tether or a safety net, but he did take his faith in god out on that high wire. here is george thomas. >> praise you, jesus. >> george: it took nik wallenda 22 minutes to complete the daring walk across the grand canyon. the 34-year-old dare-devil is a seventh generation
high-wire artist, part of the famous circus family, a clan that is no stranger to death-diefying feats. in the 1970s, his great grandfather fell to his death during a performance in puerto rico. in an interview on "the 700 club," nik said he doesn't see his feats as that risky. >> i don't see what i as being more dangerous than a police officer. what i do is extremely calculated. i don't think god holds me on the wire as i'm walking across, but god has given me a unique talent. >> george: as a devout christian, his sees his talent and desire to perform as a gift from god. >> there is no question in my mind that god has laid these desires in my heart. i think god has given me a very unique talent, and i can use that to bring glory
to his name. >> reporter: he says he does it all for a higher purpose. >> thank you, lord. it is so important to me, every time before i do any of these big events, i get in a circle and pray with my family. and i always say, give god the glory. let god get the glory out of what i'm doing. that is very, very important to me, that they don't praise nik wallenda, but they praise god. it is hard to deny there is a god when you see the grand canyon. and that's why i like to show these amazing places off around the world. >> wendy: talk about a walk of faith. my heart is racing. i bet yours is, too. incredible. that is going to do it for this edition of christian world news. for all of us here, until next week, good-bye and god bless you. i wanted to be in the military since i was a kid. i served a total of 16 years. and at 19 years old, that's the first time i ever saw somebody die. coming back, i was raging.
i started having pretty horrible nightmares. i started drinking a lot. i guess i never recognized it in myself. it all starts with going to the va. there's a whole community of veterans that just want to help you out. it's for the guys who couldn't come back, you owe it to them to live well. because they're not here with their families.
>> hello. welcome to aspiring women. >> >> as you probably notice, we're not on our normal set today. >> we are actually in the city of capernaum, geez' jesus' own town and where his mother in law of peter lived. >> we're right here on the sea of galilee. the see of galilee is behind us an angolan heights andeh